Aim: To provide information on the possible influence of cultural practices in perpetuating child sexual abuse and to examine documented examples of these cultural influences.
Methods: A computer literature search was done of Medline, Science Direct, PSYCInfo, Embase and PubMed for keywords. There were also manual searches in the library of journals that are not accessible online. Keywords for searches included: sexual abuse, child abuse, psychopathology, name of countries (eg Jordan, China and Morocco), culture and cultural practices.
Results: There is documented evidence of cultural practices that continue to fuel the persistently high level of child sexual abuse across the globe. The definition has evolved to now include simple genitalgenital and non-genital contact such as oral-genital contacts, exhibitionism and pornography.
Conclusions: Cultural practices are no longer restricted to one geographical collection of people due to migratory influence, as these practices may also spread to different groups who intermingle. There are few empirical studies of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean, but one factor that could be used as a proxy is age of first sexual activity. The World Bank reports that this age is youngest in the Caribbean and is likely to be significantly influenced by child sexual abuse.